Evangelist Pat Robertson is in trouble with U.S. Islamic organizations for saying Muslims should not serve in the president’s Cabinet or as judges.
In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday, Robertson, who ran for president in 1988, said if were elected he would not appoint Muslims to his Cabinet and that he was not in favor of Muslims serving as judges.
“They have said in the Quran there’s a war against all the infidels,” Robertson said. “Do you want somebody like that sitting as a judge? I wouldn’t.”
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations yesterday called on “mainstream political and religious leaders” to repudiate the “hate-filled remarks.”
“This type of hate-filled rhetoric deserves repudiation from all who respect America’s long-standing tradition of pluralism,” said Rabiah Ahmed, CAIR’s communication coordinator.
Ahmed said many Muslims already serve with distinction in many levels of government, including judgeships at the state and local level.
Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR’s national legal director, said Robertson “has taken his far-right-wing rhetoric to absurd levels.”
“He is trying to perpetuate this notion that Islam is a monolithic entity inherently at odds with modernity and democracy,” Iftikhar said. “That is absolutely false. … American Muslims have long been contributing members of American society.
Iftikhar added: “And I guarantee to Mr. Robertson that Muslims will one day become part of the federal bench — whether or not he likes it.”
Muslims were particularly outraged by a 2002 appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes” program in which Robertson said about Islam’s prophet, Muhammad: “This man was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand. And to say that these terrorists distort Islam, they’re carrying out Islam. … I mean, this man (Muhammad) was a killer. And to think that this is a peaceful religion is fraudulent.”
Robertson also called Islam “a monumental scam” and claimed the Quran “is strictly a theft of Jewish theology.”